December 11, 2013

A Chain Letter That Will Set You Free

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

Colossians 4:2-5 (NIV)

Would you like to be free from your circumstances or environment controlling your mood? Imagine experiencing the victory and joy of Christ no matter where you are whatever the circumstance. We could move out of the “when, then” cycle that so often controls our emotions and actions.  You know, “When this happens, then I will be happy, or will serve the Lord or whatever it is that follows your when statement.”

The adventure of the saving life of the Lord Jesus accepts every situation under any circumstance as one under the control and power of an almighty God who loves us and desires the best for us.  That was the case in this passage today.  Paul, who wrote this letter to a church in Colossi, was imprisoned in Rome for preaching the gospel.  Despite how unfair or uncomfortable it was for him, I’m impressed with what he asked the church to pray for in his letter.  Read it carefully.  He didn’t ask them to pray that God would change his circumstances.  He didn’t ask them to pray that God would open prison doors, but that He would open a door for the gospel.  He recognized a great and liberating truth that our circumstances in life are inconsequential to our call and that God could work through us in whatever situation we may find ourselves in if we remain rightly related to Him.  His only prayer was that God would use him where he was to proclaim the gospel clearly.  He was more concerned with communicating the good news of Jesus Christ than his own comfort, and he was in chains!  Wow! What a disposition!

What about you?  Are you controlled by your environment and circumstances?  “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful” that God has you right where you are for His purposes so that through you He may make known the mystery of Christ!  Now there’s a chain letter worth passing on!